LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 13, 2013) - Significant price differences between leading long term care insurance companies can cost consumers hundreds of dollars annually an analysis finds.
"We now see large price differences between leading insurers resulting from pricing approaches, discounts offered and health classifications," explains Jesse Slome director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). "People can easily pay 40-to-90 percent more than they need to and many people forgo getting this important coverage simply because they fail to understand how to take advantage of discounts still available."
"Each long term care insurance company sets their price based on 20-to-25 different pricing factors," Slome notes. "The single smartest move a consumer can make today is working with an insurance professional who understands the many pricing differences and legitimate ways to reduce what you pay for this important protection."
Earlier this year several insurers began charging single women 45-to-55 percent more than single men. "Not every insurer has started charging sex distinct rates," Slome shares. "Selecting a policy from an insurer still offering unisex rates is just one obvious way to save."
The long term care insurance expert notes that insurers have traditionally offered discounts to married couples that both apply for coverage. "The two-spouse discount now ranges from 10-to-40 percent yearly," Slome adds. "Some insurers have made a significant change, ending the partial discount offered when only spouse or partner applies or health qualifies. The resulting cost difference can be hundreds even thousands of dollars a year."
Long term care insurance is not included under Obamacare provisions according to AALTCI. "All applicants must meet health qualifications which vary," Slome states. "Recently some insurers increased the number of health classifications and the spread between Preferred and Standard classifications can amount to as much as 50-to-60 percent. Knowing which insurer will grant you preferred health status is overlooked by most."
Slome advocates a 'Good, Better, Best' approach to securing affordable long-term care insurance planning. "Good coverage today may cover part but not all of the costs you'll face," he explains. "You'll save considerably if you are willing to allocate some of your retirement savings and Social Security income to pay part of any long term care costs."
The Association's analysis points to increased complexity in policy provisions and language. "You can read every online article but because provisions and pricing varies by state understanding how to get the best coverage for the best price is a daunting task," Slome concludes. "If you are considering this protection, who to work with is the most important decision you'll make today. No two insurers are equal and the same is true for insurance professionals."
According to experts, one is considered a long term care insurance specialist after helping at least 100 individuals secure coverage. "There are agents who have insured 250-to-500 individuals or more over many years," Slome cites. "A good broker specialist will be appointed to compare policies from at least four or five long term care insurance companies. Appointed means they can actually sell the particular policy because it's rare one will favor coverage from a company they can not sell to you."
To access free guides outlining ways to reduce long term care insurance costs or to connect with designated long term care insurance professionals for no-obligation cost quotes call the national organization at (818) 597-3227 or visit the Association's website at www.aaltci.org.